We've all been a part of the discourse on how often you should wash your hair. It's an age-old debate, and though I’d personally love nothing more than to only have to do it once a week, unfortunately, my long, thick mane requires an every-other-day cleanse. The only solution I’ve found comes in the form of the best shampoos for oily hair, which at least prolong a wash by two or, if I’m really lucky, three days.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to balance an oily scalp. Stylists recommend washing your hair less frequently, so dry shampoo is a godsend in that department. Also, keeping your brush clean prevents you from transferring oil onto your freshly-washed hair. Try not to touch it, and use as little styling products as possible. And obviously, only condition the ends — or skip conditioner altogether, if your hair is healthy enough.
If your scalp is prone to overproducing oil, it might feel dirty even if it's freshly washed, and it may even feel itchy or sore. Acne and dandruff can accompany a chronically oily scalp, as can seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, and fungus, which can sometimes lead to hair loss. This is why, if you have an oily scalp or hair, it’s vital that you’re using the right shampoo.
So whether you’re looking for a two-in-one treatment that also conditions, an all-natural salt-based paste, or a salicylic acid shampoo to treat severe itching, there’s a formula on this list to suit every need and hair type.
1. A Gentle Clarifying Shampoo That Also Removes Chlorine
One of my personal favorites, Frederic Fekkai’s apple cider shampoo smells delicious, comes in a top shelf-worthy bottle, and, most importantly, works miracles on weighed-down hair. It’s a clarifying shampoo, so it’s technically meant to be used sparingly, but it’s much gentler than other heavy-duty clarifiers, so it’s honestly fine to use a few times of week (and, that also means it’s safe for color-treated hair). This formula is also one of the best for eliminating chlorine — once, my hair turned green from swimming, and this stuff got it back to its normal color after a few washes.
2. A K-Beauty Option That’s Also A Conditioning Treatment
This botanically-scented cleansing shampoo is a Korean beauty secret. It’s a super foamy formula that uses plant extracts to eliminate oil and dirt, but actually leaves hair feeling silky and moisturized. The best part is that it’s actually a two-in-one treatment, so you don’t have to follow it up with a conditioner.
3. An All-Natural Formula That Adds Volume
Made of sea salt, mineral crystals, and lavender essential oil, this non-toxic volumizing shampoo is all-natural and comes in a biodegradable jar. The salt, which is mined 400 feet below the sea, adds mega volume, and steam-distilled lavender elicits a gentle, earthy scent. It’s a great option for people with thin hair who want it to look thicker and fuller, and it’ll leave your scalp feeling clean and soothed.
4. A Hardcore Clarifying Shampoo For Non-Color Treated Hair
This heavy-duty detoxing shampoo was formulated to be used once a week and rids hair of excess oil, hard water minerals, and product and pollutant buildup. It works on all textures, though people with heavily colored hair might want to avoid it, and should be followed up with a moisturizing conditioner. Rosemary extract stimulates the scalp, reduces inflammation, and offers anti-microbial benefits, while ginseng root (a natural astringent) and sage leaf extract provide an incredibly deep clean.
5. An Antioxidant-Rich Formula That Professionals Love
This nourishing shampoo from L'Oréal's expert series easily removes excess oil and product build-up. It contains antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, which purifies hair of hard-water residues and prevents itchiness, and the formula smells faintly of lemon. Reviewers say it leaves hair shiny afterwards, and can be used on drier hair if followed up with a conditioning mask. Use as a daily wash or weekly treatment, depending on your hair type.
6. An All-Natural Option That Strengthens And Thickens Hair
This natural clarifying shampoo does it all — alleviates itchy scalps, treats dandruff, protects from environmental pollutants, unclogs pores, and restores the skin’s pH balance. It has a lemony scent and leaves hair healthy and moisturized, and it’s free of parabens, sulfates, and silicones, so it won’t cause any irritation, even with frequent use. The main selling point of this formula is that it strengthens hair, and some even find that it minimizes shedding.
7. A Dermatologist Favorite That Uses Salicylic Acid To Treat Itchy Scalps
This medicated shampoo is the most commonly recommended by dermatologists for people who suffer from severely irritated scalps. It uses three percent salicylic acid to clear buildup and control oil production, and is best for someone who's dealing with itching and flaking. It’s fragrance-free and can be used a few times per week.
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